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Press freedom vs freedom of expression

I disagree with Raymond Snoddy (“Beware, the freedom of the press is at stake,” Journalist, December-January). To accuse the Stop Funding Hate campaign of

posing a threat to press freedom seems to be applying double standards. Provided nobody breaks the law and physically

tries to stop distribution of newspapers or contravenes the Racial and Religious Hatred Act, then the Daily Mail and chums have the right to publish their often bigoted views, those that find them offensive have the right to protest and to lobby advertisers, the advertisers have the right to ignore the lobbying if they so wish, Mr Snoddy has the right to criticise the campaign, and I have the right to disagree with him. This all seems to me to be one

big exercise in freedom of expression – and certainly no threat to press freedom. Glyn Roberts London

Pressing newspapers to change is legitimate Raymond Snoddy exaggerates when he says the Stop Funding Hate campaign threatens newspaper freedom. Nobody is denying the Express, Mail and Sun the right to publish what they like within the law. But neither am I giving up my right not to buy them, which I exercise every day. Putting pressure on them to change is legitimate. Major brands have been applying precisely that pressure to the huge social media companies. That and its analogues are no doubt what Richard Wilson meant when he said – as quoted by Snoddy – “The end point is a media that does the job we want it to.”

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H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H Nor is Wilson claiming that his

definition of fairness is universal. He is just inviting those who share it to join him in expressing it. The John Lewis quotation is disingenuous: “Withdrawing advertising on the basis of editorial coverage would be inconsistent with our democratic principles which include freedom of speech and remaining apolitical.” It would have been some day for their democratic principles if they had advertised in Marxism Today. They did not, and are now being asked not to advertise in Bigotry, Hate and Bias Today. Martin Hillman Edinburgh

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H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H That it is unlawful to discriminate

because of the other seven characteristics such as being a transsexual person, being pregnant or because of disability, sex or religion is well known. That this applies to age it seems is not. Given this, it’s likely that in dealing with everyday affairs, age will be seen as less of a priority, less important and not as urgent and concerning to other sections of society. If this is to be the case, it is a misjudgment of the importance of older people’s affairs. The affairs that we, the old, are

addressing (pensions etc) will one day be everyone’s concern. Roy Jones NUJ 60+ Council

Publishing earnings will close the gender pay gap May I pay tribute to the powerful evidence of our general secretary Michelle Stranistreet to the committee of MPs investigating the gender pay gap at the BBC. She is to be congratulated for giving the BBC’s former China editor Carrie Gracie the high-profile public backing of our union. Carrie talked of the appalling lack of

Don’t forget that the law covers age discrimination In 2012, “age” was added to the seven protected characteristics that under the Equality Act of 2010 made discrimination unlawful – but nobody seemed to notice. The act bans discrimination against adults in the provision of services and public functions. “Age discrimination is unfairly treating people differently because of their age,” it states. Direct age discrimination is where

someone is unfairly treated in comparison with another, for example where an older person is refused admission to a gym or from holding office in a club or association because of their age.

transparency over pay in our main public service broadcaster. Michelle told MPs of the “scourge of unequal pay“ at the BBC and the growing sense of anger and frustration among female staff. It’s a scandal we know affects the public and private sectors. So is an answer to guarantee pay

transparency as happens in Norway, where your salary is not a secret? Since 2008, the earnings of every taxpayer have been in the public domain. Some in Britain may regard this as a

gross intrusion into their privacy. I believe it offers a bold move to ensure greater pay transparency and accountability. Secrecy over pay means injustice and

creates unfairness. The NUJ should look at the Norwegian approach and lobby for a similar law. John Hess Life member Nottingham branch


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